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Water: A Natural Lure to Asia

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There’s no element more fundamental to the existence of life as we know it than water. It is the lifeblood of our planet and the defining feature of the place we call home.

Water so precious to our existence that recent research has shown surprising health benefits to even being in its presence. So it should come as no surprise that some 40% of the world’s population lives within 100km of the coast. Simply put, humans are hardwired to love water.

As places with gorgeous water go, Asia is perhaps the world’s greatest treasure. Within its crystalline seas and sandy shores are some of the earth’s most dramatically beautiful and biologically diverse places. Don’t believe us? Feast your eyes on a selection of Asia’s most incredible and little-known places to be enchanted by water.

Indonesia: Pink Beach, Komodo National Park, East Nusa TenggaraIndonesiaKomodoNationalPark-shutterstock136400093

A vast archipelago consisting of some 17,000 islands, all within a few degrees longitude from the equator, Indonesia has no shortage of gorgeous tropical places perfect for worshipping the sea. If we had to pick just one place to do it though, it would be Pink Beach in Komodo National Park, East Tenggara.

Nevermind that the island it’s on is literally inhabited by dragons, which is undeniably cool, the beach is actually pink! This is a result of tens of thousands of years of red coral fragments washing up on it. The surrounding waters are not only incredibly gorgeous, but are also home to one of Indonesia’s most spectacular reefs and snorkelling spots. The beach is so cool, in fact, that it has been nominated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Want to check it out? Take a look at our Komodo and the Rinca Trails tour.

Singapore: Sentosa Island

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Singapore is not only one of the world’s most developed nations, it also happens to be one of the wealthiest. So what does a wealthy nation with no great beaches or coastal escapes of its own do? Create its own, of course.

Sentosa Island is entirely manmade. Dredged from the bottom of the ocean, the craftiness, ingenuity and vast resources of the powers that be in Singapore have managed to create their own paradise from scratch. Granted, the waters are a far cry from elsewhere in the region, but the fine imported Malaysian sand, abundance of entertainment venues and world-class restaurants can easily relieve any concerns about this oversight.

We’re not saying that anyone should head to Singapore solely to relax on Sentosa, but if guests happen to be there for other reasons, of which there are plenty, there’s no reason not to check out Sentosa. If nothing else, it’s easily one of the most unique island getaways in Asia.

Have a group in need of a perfect place for MICE activities? Check out some of the new offerings for MICE in Singapore on our website.

Malaysia: Bohey Dulang Island, Sabah, Borneo 

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Unfairly, Malaysia is often overlooked by travellers looking for great beach or island getaways in Asia. For those who aren’t aware, there is a dazzling array of islands dotting the coasts of Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo.

For sheer gorgeousness, it’s hard to beat Bohey Dulang Island in Tun Sakaran Marine Park, just off the coast of Semporna in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Not only is the island absolutely stunning, but it has some rather unique attributes that make it one of the more attractive options in Asia for travellers looking for a unique island or beach getaway.

The part of the Sulu Sea the island occupies is shared by the Bajau Laut, a unique ethnic group known as `sea gypsies’ who spend their entire lives at sea. A major reason they inhabit this part of Malaysia is the incredible richness of marine life found there -which also means that Bohey Dulang Island offers incredible snorkelling and diving opportunities.

Want to know how to get clients there? Let us know, and we’d be happy to arrange a tailormade tour.

Thailand: Khao Sok National Park 

Thailand-South-Thailand-Nature-Khao-Sok-National-Park(5)

As beach destinations go, Thailand is an old friend to travellers from around the world. Its warm waters, stunning landscapes and tropical ambience have become a standard by which tropical destinations around the world are judged. Between the lengthy coasts of the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand, there are innumerable places to enjoy stunning beaches.

As such, we’ve decided to go with a wild card on this one and recommend Khao Sok National Park as an offbeat place to send clients. Its focal point, Cheow Lan Lake, is like something out of a science-fiction novel. Clear emerald green waters are surrounded by some of Thailand’s most dramatic karst mountains and virgin rainforests.

A visit here, including a magical stay on floating rafts in the middle of the lake, promises not just one of the most incredible places to soak up aquatic natural scenery, but also chances to see some of Southeast Asia’s most iconic critters such as wild elephants, hornbills and gibbons.

Quite simply, if clients are looking to relax on the water somewhere off the beaten path, Khao Sok is one of the most stunning, memorable and unique places to do it. Got your interest? Check it out by visiting our website and seeing the Khao Sok Floating Raft tour.

Cambodia: Koh Rong 

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While the vast majority of visitors to Cambodia come to see the temples of Angkor and then leave, a collection of islands off the Gulf Coast very happily remain in almost complete seclusion. Among these, Cambodia’s most must-visit island is Koh Rong. This drop-dead gorgeous tropical island is one of Southeast Asia’s most under-appreciated gems.

With 43 kilometres of beach, this island has numerous places such as Southwestern Beach and Long Set Beach that could easily be placed in any top 25 list of beaches in Asia. To sweeten the deal, most of these beaches are also almost completely deserted.

So the next time you or a client considers travelling to Cambodia, be sure to consider paying a visit to Cambodia’s lonely coast, where an incredible paradise is just waiting to be discovered.

Want to sort out a trip to this stunning island? Our Cambodia travel experts are standing by to make it happen.

Vietnam: Nha Trang

Vietnam_South_NhaTrang

There are many stunning places in Vietnam to get dosed up on `vitamin sea.’ The most iconic of these is probably Halong Bay which, for all its splendour, is a fairly welltrodden path for visitors and tourists to this fascinating country.

For travellers looking for something a bit more unique, Nha Trang offers options in spades. The city itself offers all the amenities of a Vietnamstyle metropolis, with resorts, nightlife and attractions aplenty. In fact, even the beach just off the main strip in Nha Trang City is quite pleasant.

Venture just a short distance away from the city by boat, though, and Nha Trang reveals its true colours: crystal clear waters, thriving coral reefs, and gorgeous secluded islands.

For anyone wanting to experience the raw beauty of Vietnam’s coast, Nha Trang easily ranks among the very best.Our Deluxe Beach Break in Nha Trang is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of Nha Trang along with touches of luxury.

Myanmar: Mergui Archipelago 

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Just a few short years ago, the Mergui Archipelago, also known as the Myeik Archipelago, was virtually unheard of. Decades of formal isolation from the outside world, and tight restrictions against visiting there all but insured the complete obscurity of these islands in the Andaman Sea.

Slowly, they’re beginning to open up, though. A collection of over 700 emerald isles surrounded by clear green water, they are among the most beautiful and untouched islands not just in Asia, but the world. They’re so pristine, in fact, that the vast majority of them are uninhabited and unexplored.

For those looking to explore the unexplored, our Myeik and its Archipelago tour passes through some of the area’s most stunning islands.

China: Hong Kong 

Tai_Long_Wan_2010 2Similar to Singapore, Hong Kong is one of the last places in Asia anyone would think of for beach or island getaways. To the surprise of many, however, Hong Kong has incredibly alluring beaches just a short distance from the big city. Unlike Singapore, these beaches are natural, with clear water, white sand and dramatic landscapes. The result is a place that is both astonishingly gorgeous and easily accessible. For great examples, check out places like Tai Long Wan or Sai Kung. Both could easily compare to more traditional beach destinations in Asia.

Unlike elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong has the added advantage of allowing visitors to easily experience two polar extremes: gorgeous nature and incredible urban wonders, both within close proximity to each other. Have clients who would be keen to check it out? Ask our China travel experts how to add a beach break to their Hong Kong City Escape.

Japan: Okinawa

Blue clear waters of Okinawa

With the well-deserved popularity of Japanese culture and all the unique things that come with it while visiting Japan, it’s easy to forget that Japan is an island nation with some tricks up its sleeve. The southern island of Okinawa is not only home to amazing sushi, seafood and cultural hubs, it also has some of the most jaw-dropping beaches in Asia. Just 15-minutes by boat from the main harbour, one can transport themselves to places like Minna Beach which boasts pearly white sand beaches and sky blue, translucent waters.

Alternatively, head to Miyakojima Island, which boasts multiple postcard-worthy beaches. In addition to clean white sand and crystal clear water, these beaches also have some brilliant coral reefs perfect for snorkelling. Altogether, it’s a different sort of Japan experience that’s totally worthwhile.

Check out our Okinawa Beach Breaks tour for an idea of the incredible holiday experience one can have there.

Laos: Kuang Si Falls 

Without a doubt, the most iconic place in Laos to take a dip is Kuang Si Falls, just outside of Luang Prabang. It’s no wonder people around the world flock to this spot which is now among the most iconic attractions in Southeast Asia. With its lush surrounding jungle and aquamarine-coloured waters, the three-tiered waterfall genuinely looks like the Garden of Eden.

Although you may not find any forbidden fruits in the area, you will find calming pools of water that are a dream to soak in. Well and truly, no trip to Laos would be complete without a visit to this wonderful spot.

Looking for an offbeat destination with natural beauty in abundance? Our Essential Luang Pabang tour is a perfect fit. 

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